Healthier Zucchini Bread
It’s no secret that I have a love affair with the quick bread.
We usually have some varation laying around our house. It makes a great breakfast dessert. What? You don’t eat dessert after breakfast? Oh, right. *cough* Me neither.
I really do love the quick bread. It’s the easiest afternoon snack and when made in muffin form, they become the ultimate car snack. You know, except for the crumbs that get all over the carseat and floor of car but that’s another story.
As much as I love zucchini bread, it’s not that good foor you. Yes, it’s loaded with shredded bits of the green vegetable but when you add a bunch of sugar and white flour it sort of counters the healthful qualtites, wouldn’t you say?
So in attempt to get a little more bang for my buck sort of speak, I made a few changes to the standard zucchini bread recipe and came up with something equally as delicious.
This quick bread is a little more dense than the typical zucchini bread as I replaced the white flour with whole wheat pastry flour and some ground almond meal. In place of the sugar, I used maple syrup granules. If you’ve never baked with them before, I encourage you to give it a try. An all natural sweetener that has all the deep flavors of maple syrup but in granulated form- perfect for baking! Lastly, I beefed up the amount of zucchini and replaced some of the oil with applesauce.
As I was making the zucchini bread batter, I had to keep getting back into the baking cupboard for yet more ingredients I’d forgotten to pull out. Each time, I had to reach right over the chocolate chips. I tell you, they were mocking me. It’s like they were daring me to put some into this so called “healthy” bread. I broke down and threw a rather hefty handful in. I just couldn’t help myself.
I’m glad I did though. When the bread was done, my husband cut himself a still warm slice. He was quiet for a minute. He said that something tasted different. I held my breath. My husband isn’t big on change and although a fairly healthful eater, he likes his desserts pure: white sugar and white flour. After a minute, he said, “Oh, it’s the chocolate chips. You don’t usually put chocolate chips in zucchini bread.” Yeah, honey, that’s it…………
I waited for the bread to cool a bit before digging in. My favorite way to eat a slice of quick bread? Slathered with butter of course.
Cause butter makes everything better.
And you can quote me on that.
And for the record, I said this was a healthier version of zucchini bread, I by no means said it was healthy.
Healthier Zucchini Bread
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1/2 cup grapeseed or other flavorless vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 1/4 cup maple syrup granules
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup ground almond meal
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips, optional
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. In a small bowl, grate the zucchini; set aside. In a medium size bowl, combine flour, almond meal, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In another large bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, oil, maple sugar granules, and vanilla. Beat to combine. Add dried ingredients and stir just until mixed. Stir in chocolate chips if using. Split batter evenly among two prepared standard loaf pans. Bake for about 40 minutes or until bread is done. Remove bread from oven and place on cooling rack to cool for 15 minutes before removing bread from pan. Let cool completely. Makes 2 loaves.